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Mad Max

Mad Max's Open World Wasteland Feels Familiar

Look back over reviews of Borderlands and Rage, and you'll find mentions of Mad Max's post-apocalyptic wasteland show up more than a few times. It's no surprise then that the Road Warrior's own game feels so familiar.

In the developer-driven demo at Gamescom 2013, we got a look at vehicle and on-foot combat, while also learning a bit more about the story. Max has been left for dead, and his prized car stolen. With the help of a brilliant mechanic named Chumbucket, he'll have to build and improve a new vehicle, called the Magnum Opus.

In order to do that, Max must team up with leaders of civilized strongholds and fulfill missions for them. In the demo, Max is tasked with stealing a 12-cylinder car (the last of its kind) to bring it back to Jeet, leader of a nearby survivor encampment.

This involves sneaking into a bandit camp, which was reminiscent of Far Cry 3 due to a tagging system and the value of stealth. Max can dive into the flat-bed back of his car to use a sniper rifle to take enemies out from a distance without alerting the group. Should he be seen, a flare goes up and reinforcements arrive.

After removing one guard from play, Max rolls up slowly and quietly on a guard tower. How he isn't heard or seen is a mystery, but once close enough, Chumbucket uses a harpoon to pull the structure out from under the bandit.

Once on foot, Max picks up melee weapons to engage in combat reminiscent of the recent Rocksteady Batman games (also published by Warner Bros.). He also uses his signature shotgun for brutal instant kills.

On his way out of the camp, Max is ambushed. Vehicular combat is reminiscent of Burnout, with cinematic takedowns. Weapons also play a role, as Max blows tires out with his shotgun and avoids armaments like rear mounted flamepipes that can deal great damage to the Magnum Opus.

Once back at the settlement, Max can use his collected spare parts to improve his ride. In the demo, this includes a change of paint (which offers status effects like being fire retardant) and a ramming bumper. Vehicles can be tuned for speed, damage, evasion, or any combination thereof. Additionally, each settlement specializes in different areas, and parts will vary amongst them.

As the demo concludes, Max and Chumbucket bust through a camp of Warboys on their way to the next area. Mad Max will include three distinct regions with different terrain (and tire needs). We'll learn more about what we'll be seeing in addition to barren sandscapes as we grow nearer to the 2014 launch.

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  • I love Mad Max, and I loved Just Cause 2. I can't wait for this.
  • I'm interested in playing this...but also very skeptical of it's quality at this point.
  • Borderlands and Rage are sweet games. This sounds like a really good time. Plus you know it's like Mad Max!!
  • I hope I'm wrong, but from what's described, it feels like a copy of a copy at this point. Mad Max helped create an entire genre, then other people took it and hit the ground running (Bethesda, id, Gearbox). Gameplay-wise, I'm not sure if there's anywhere new for it to go, and it sounds like they're taking systems from other games. Even if it's not original, though, I'm hoping it'll be good.
  • Is it mel gibson....ad when is thunderdome comin out?

  • I was going to say, the first things I thought from seeing that picture were of Borderlands' bandits and Rage's open wastes and road racing.
  • Sounds fun.  I wouldn't mind checking it out someday.

  • This is coming on PS4, right?
  • Sounds fun, and for one Mike Futter did a good job at describing what the game's about, but it leaves out one question: you mentioned three distinct regions (with different tire needs), but does it mean we only get to see the second and third regions as the story progresses (are these regions locked up at the start), and can we go back and visit regions we've been through?
  • ohhhh imagine that they will release rage 2 and i dont know. thank for tell me guys

  • I'm wondering if Chumbucket is going to be a constant companion. I hope not, because I really don't like it when I have an AI tag along cramping my style.

  • Sounds good to me. Keeping my digits crossed in hope they pull it off.

  • I'd rather have Just Cause 3.
  • I feel like this is gonna suck. Just gut feeling.

  • I was pretty sold on this the moment Avalanche was officially announced as developer, and WB Games as the publisher. You can tell that, by the Batman: Arkham series, they understand how to do video game adaptations right. That you shouldn't be beholden to tell the same story as a movie; you should let the game breathe and exist in the universe on it's own merits. They're a good publisher for movie games, and I'm glad this was given it's own dev schedule, an inspired developer to handle it, and is completely divorced from the upcoming Mad Max: Fury Road movie.

    But now you're telling me that the auto combat is reminiscent of Burnout? Jesus - I could not be more excited for this game! :D

    Now, all they need to do is announce that Donal Gibson is going to do the new voice for Max (Mel Gibson's brother: www.ign.com/.../mel-gibsons-brother-wants-to-be-mad-max), and this thing is officially a sure bet.

  • Well, all COD games feel the same and they sell ok.

  • Well, all COD games feel the same and they sell ok.

  • Rage..is that you?

  • Did anyone else think this was Fallout 4 at first? Like, I was absolutely certain until they showed the logo.

  • This reminds me of the Metroid-Aliens-Aliens-Metroid cycle.

    Metroid, Metroid II, and Super Metroid were inspired by Alien, Aliens, and Alien 3. Then later, Aliens: Infestation was made and clearly inspired by Metroid games.

    Mad Max is inspired by the games inspired by Mad Max.  I'll keep it in mind.

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